Trevor Sinclair and Alan Wright are amongst a group of ex-professional footballers taking part in a charity football match to pay tribute to nine-year-old Jordan Banks, who was tragically struck by lightning in a thunderstorm almost two weeks ago.
The young Liverpool fan was at football training in Blackpool when he suffered fatal injuries and was rushed hospital.
To commemorate Jordan’s memory, 50-year-old local football coach Daz Meehan from Blackpool, a Fire Safety Officer in the NHS, has decided to donate half the proceeds of his upcoming charity match to Jordan’s family.
The remaining proceeds from the annual Blue Skies Football Tournament will be donated to Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, the NHS charity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
Jordan’s dad Matt Banks and stepdad Daniel Begg will both be taking part in the match and expressed their support for the event.
“Thank you to everyone who has come together to make this event happen. We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had since Jordan passed. You’ve all made a very difficult time that little bit easier.”
Ian Evatt, John Hills, Gavin McCann, Jamie Milligan, Steve Thompson and former Premier League referee Neil Swarbrick have also signed up to take part in the commemorative match.
Despite having no personal connection to the family, Daz and the rest of the team were so moved by the news that they set out to honour Jordan in the best way they could.
He said: “The preparation began a few weeks ago for this year’s Blue Skies Tournament and when I heard about the devastating news I just thought it seemed right that we should help a young family who must be going through a very distressing time. For me and all the players involved it was a no brainer to use this opportunity to raise some funds for them.
I hope we can raise as much money prior to the game and at the game with lots of local football families coming to support both teams.”
Daz explains that this year, the coveted trophy will be renamed to “The Jordan Blue Skies trophy”, in honour of the “amazing young man who selflessly did so much for this community”.
Head of Fundraising at Blue Skies, Kila Redfearn, said: “When I was asked if half the proceeds this year could go towards Jordan’s family, the answer, in a heartbeat was of course, yes.
As a mum of four, I cannot imagine how hard this must be for the family and friends of Jordan, so we are only too happy to help.”
That match is taking place at AFC Fylde on 26th June and kick off is 2.30pm. Admission is free but donations can be made here.